When you first start your business, there is a huge mixture of excitement, overwhelm, impatience and many more emotions. You read everything you can get your hands on about the best way to start your business so you can be successful. You probably read a lot of articles and suggestions from people and about businesses who are already well established. They have a lot to say about growing your list, converting website visitors to clients, what kind of website to have, what services and products to offer, how much to charge, and on and on and on.
If you’re not careful, you’ll easily get overwhelmed, or you’ll make decisions as though you’ve been in business for a few years instead of a few weeks or months. I’m here to advise you to start small. I know this seems counterintuitive. But I’m going to say it again. START SMALL!
Unless you’ve already owned a business, worked for yourself, been a freelancer or consultant working with clients, you probably don’t have a firm idea what your business will be like in 6 months, 1 year or 2 years. You think you want to work with a certain type of client until you actually work them. Then perhaps you realize that vision needs a little or a lot of tweaking.
You think you want to offer a particular service in a certain way until you actually do for a few clients. Then you slowly realize that doing that type of work is draining you or not giving you a lot of joy.
My point is, if you’re new to being a small business owner, it’s going to take some time to get your sea legs. It’s going to take some seriously frustrating moments before you realize exactly what kind of client you want to work with, and which ones you don’t. It’s going to take some wins and some losses, some missteps and some days of pure joy before you realize exactly what kind of services or products you want to offer, and in what way you offer to offer them.
I know this advice seems odd coming from a business that used to offer web design and currently offers social media graphics, but the idea of starting small also applies to your website and online presence. During your first year (or two) of business, I don’t recommend spending $2000 or $5000+ on your first website. I don’t recommend spending $1000’s or even $100’s of dollars on a logo. This is particularly true if this is the first time you’ve owned your own business.
Start Small With Your Visual Branding
Your main focus when you first start should be on figuring out who you want to work with (your ideal client) and what services or products you want to offer. You need to figure out why you want to do this things. This is your story, your brand’s story, and it is extremely important. But please don’t spend a lot of money on logo’s and visual branding right now. More than likely, your business will evolve and change and will look a little or a lot different 2 years in compared to what it looked like on day 1. So start small with visual branding while you figure out, and experiment with the WHO and WHAT you are as a business and brand.
Start Small With Your Website
The beauty of using WordPress from day-one to build your business website is that it grows as your business grows. Over time, when you begin to refine the vision and goals that truly make your heart sing about working for yourself, you can add whatever features and functionality you’ll need without having to change platforms. A self-hosted WordPress website can be as simple and small, or complex and big as you need it to be. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to be “fully formed” from day-one as it might be on day 563 or day 5633.
You can change the look and feel of your website by changing its theme. You can add to and change the functionality of your website by adding new sections, pages and plugins.
WordPress’ huge list of plugins (some free, some premium) makes it possible to change and add the features and functionality you need when you need it.
I don’t recommend going into debt hiring a graphic designer to create a new logo for your business when you’re first starting out, or a website developer to build a custom website for your business. Start where you are; there’s no need to overwhelm your budget at the beginning stages of your business. Build your website on a self-hosted WordPress platform, learn the basics and add the features and functionality you need as your business grows.